The most influential technology vendors, telecommunications operators, and IT service providers from across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa (META) will gather in Dubai this week as International Data Corporation (IDC) hosts ‘IDC Directions 2018’, an event specially tailored for the region’s leading ICT players to explore the challenges and opportunities that lie in wait for the coming 12 months.

Taking place at The Address Dubai Marina on Tuesday, January 23, ‘IDC Directions 2018’ has been designed to provide senior executives, regional leaders, and strategists from across the ICT industry with a unique platform for engaging with respected global and regional IDC thought leaders as they examine the latest developments in various key markets and outline their predictions for the year ahead.

Running under the theme ‘Digital Economy at a Tipping Point: ICT Market Outlook for META in 2018’, the event will feature insights from IDC’s Chief Research Officer and Executive Vice President for Worldwide Products, Mr. Crawford Del Prete, as he presents his outlook for the global ICT industry and examines the role that “multiplied innovation” will play in furthering the development of the region’s digital transformation (DX) economy.

“The ICT industry is entering the 2nd chapter of the 3rd Platform era, built on technologies and business models that will dramatically accelerate – and scale – digital innovation,” says Del Prete. “The META region finds itself at the DX tipping point and is well poised to accelerate its adoption of 3rd Platform technologies like cloud and big data analytics, as well as highly disruptive innovation accelerators such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence/cognitive systems, robotics, augmented/virtual reality, 3D printing, and Blockchain. The emergence and widespread adoption of these technologies will accelerate innovation and transform the ICT landscape as we know it.”

With five individually themed technology tracks to choose from, the event’s fine-tuned agenda will explore the major drivers of this transformation, while also zooming in on the latest developments in Saudi Arabia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, the UAE, and the rest of the Middle East via a series of sessions that will contextualise the technology-led innovation and entrepreneurship taking root in many cities and countries across the region.

“The next two to three years are expected to be dynamic, disruptive, and laced with innovation,” says Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s Group Vice President and regional managing director for META, who will also be speaking at the event.

“Rapid change will present significant opportunities for technology providers across the industry landscape. However, in order to effectively tap into these opportunities, they will be required to make several smart bets on the country markets they target, the products and services they provide, and the go-to-market campaigns they put into place.”

‘IDC Directions 2018’ will provide all the background required to help shape these decisions, while senior IDC analysts will also be available throughout the event to discuss individual situations, challenges, and opportunities with attendees.